Mueller authorized by DOJ to investigate alleged Manafort collusion with Russian government | CNNPolitics


Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told special counsel Robert Mueller in a classified August 2, 2017, memo that he should investigate allegations that President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was “colluding with Russian government officials” to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, prosecutors in the Russia probe revealed late Monday night.

Mueller was also empowered by Rosenstein to investigate Manafort’s payments from Ukrainian politicians, a cornerstone of the Trump adviser’s decades-long lobbying career that has resulted in several financial criminal charges so far.

Source: Mueller authorized by DOJ to investigate alleged Manafort collusion with Russian government – CNNPolitics

How Washington is undermining the stock market’s highest-flying sector | The Washington Post


Wall Street pummeled leading technology stocks Monday amid fears that some of the nation’s most dynamic companies were facing political, regulatory and market challenges that could hinder the industry’s growth for months or years.

Source: How Washington is undermining the stock market’s highest-flying sector – The Washington Post

Looming China Trade Action Divides Industry and Roils Markets | The New York Times


American companies and business groups have frequently complained that China blocks off valuable markets from American competition, including technology, media and finance, and that it does so in violation of commitments it made when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

China has imposed regulations that require American companies to share their technology with Chinese partners, for example, mandating that foreign companies operate through joint ventures if they want access to Chinese consumers.

At times, the Chinese have resorted to stealing vital technologies through cyberwarfare, according to United States authorities.

Source: Looming China Trade Action Divides Industry and Roils Markets – The New York Times

Trump calls on Congress to change ‘ridiculous’ immigration laws | TheHill


He has also stated in the past two days that he is no longer willing to accept a deal on a long-term fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He blamed Democrats for the failure to reach an agreement, even though the White House rejected multiple bipartisan proposals.

Trump had previously said he would support whatever immigration legislation was delivered to his desk.

Source: Trump calls on Congress to change ‘ridiculous’ immigration laws | TheHill

Iowa law seen as breakthrough for ObamaCare foes | TheHill


A new law in Iowa could provide the path forward for Republican-led states that are looking for ways around ObamaCare’s rules and regulations.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) on Monday signed a law that will allow the Iowa Farm Bureau to collaborate with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield on self-funded “health benefit plans.”

The plans would be cheaper than traditional ObamaCare plans because they wouldn’t be required to meet federal requirements.

Source: Iowa law seen as breakthrough for ObamaCare foes | TheHill

Asia’s cryptocurrency arbitrage boom fizzles, but profits persist


The simplest geographical arbitrage involved buying bitcoin in unregulated markets such as Thailand, or ones that have legalised bitcoin trading such as Japan, and selling them in banned markets such as South Korea, China or India.

A second form occurred between exchanges, when nimble-footed traders bought cryptocurrencies cheaply on lesser-known exchanges and sold them for a profit on more liquid and widely used platforms.

There were huge price differences to exploit.

Source: Asia’s cryptocurrency arbitrage boom fizzles, but profits persist

As China tightens squeeze, soul searching for Hong Kong’s democracy movement


As China tightens its grip on Hong Kong, pro-democracy parties have been hit by the sidelining of key leaders and have been losing ground to a well-organized pro-Beijing camp.

Those troubles hit home last month, when the democrats suffered an electoral setback in a key legislative by-election, winning only two of three seats they were expected to take easily.

Critically, many supporters stayed home – and some switched sides to protest what they said were the confrontational tactics of pro-democracy groups.

Source: As China tightens squeeze, soul searching for Hong Kong’s democracy movement

An ego-pleasing way for Trump to push trade talks


Unfortunately, the administration’s approach of threatening U.S. tariffs against foreign countries unless they change their trade practices – such as the recent announcement that the United States will level tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports – is unlikely to work as a pressuring tool.

(On Monday, the Chinese government retaliated against Washington by increasing tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 U.S.-made products.)

A better approach – one that might appeal to Trump’s ego – would be a new round of global trade negotiations. If successful, they would go down in history as the “Trump Round” of trade talks.

Source: Commentary: An ego-pleasing way for Trump to push trade talks

Spotify direct listing piles risks upon risks


On Tuesday the Swedish firm will allow current owners to sell stock directly to new investors. Traditionally, companies conducting initial public offerings ask investment bankers to play matchmaker, set an inaugural price, and buy shares to stabilize the stock if needed on the stock’s opening day.

With Spotify, both the price and the number of shares are up for grabs. Almost all the shares could trade on day one – or very few could.

That raises the potential for the stock to whipsaw as it searches for a natural settling point.

Source: Breakingviews – Spotify direct listing piles risks upon risks

Facebook and the Reckoning of the Modern Self | Pacific Standard


.. But calling the incident an “existential crisis over privacy and data” is an understatement: As Alexis Madrigal pointed out in The Atlantic, Facebook has grappled with problematic data usage for the better part of a decade.

(Zuckerberg infamously referred to early adopters of Facebook as “dumb fucks'” for trusting him with their personal data.)

In reality, the Cambridge Analytica fiasco is not some revelatory moment for Facebook and its users regarding the network’s role as the world’s foremost information broker, but rather a tipping point in how we think about the self in a digital world.

Source: Facebook and the Reckoning of the Modern Self – Pacific Standard